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Survey: Africa among most hostile regions for LGBTQ community

On Thursday, a report released by the Institute for Race Relations revealed that some countries on the continent are still oppressive towards this marginalised group.

FILE: A group protests outside the Tanzanian embassy in Pretoria on 24 October 2017 for the release of activists arrested in Tanzania for 'promoting homosexuality'. Picture: Twitter/@Tumi_06

JOHANNESBURG – A new survey has found the African continent remains one of the most hostile regions for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual and queer (LGBTQ) people despite some recent positive developments on the continent.

On Thursday, a report released by the Institute for Race Relations (IRR) revealed that some countries on the continent are still oppressive towards this marginalised group.

The institute conducted interviews with African members and activists of the LGBTQ group.

According to the Human Rights Watch, 32 out of 54 African countries outlawed same-sex activity as of June.

The High Court in Botswana this year struck down two colonial-era laws, effectively legalising gay sex.

The report compiled by the IRR shows that some political leaders are not willing to accommodate the rights of the homosexual community.

Researcher at the institute Gerbrandt van Heerden said: “One of the countries that stood out where there is still a lot of oppression is Malawi, as well as Zambia. The president of Zambia actually did say that he would not agree to equal rights for gay people even if it’s at a cost of international aid.”

The research shows that there’s a clear link between education and LGBTQ tolerance with most prestigious schools having a relatively open view of people with alternative sexual orientations and gender expressions.